Tiger Tracker: Woods bounces back with three straight birdies at Zozo Championship


Tiger Woods is back on the course this week in Japan to kick off his 2019-20 PGA Tour season.

The Tour is hosting its first official event in Japan this week at the Zozo Championship at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan, following Monday’s The Challenge: Japan Skins event won by Jason Day.

The last time fans saw Woods at a Tour event, the 15-time major champion finished T-37 at the BMW Championship, just missing out on a spot at the Tour Championship. Woods tees off on the back nine Wednesday night at 7:40 p.m. ET alongside Satoshi Kodaira and Tommy Fleetwood.

Follow along for shot-by-shot analysis of his opening round in Japan from Adam Woodard and Steve DiMeglio.

Hole 17 – Par 4

No. 17 is a monster, but Tiger paints the middle of the fairway with a bomb off the tee. This approach isn’t as dialed-in, finding the green pin-high, outside 30 feet. Not much to see here, two-putt par. On to 18!

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 8.

Hole 16 – Par 3

No. 16 is playing 183 today, and TW went after the pin again. He’s above the hole, just outside of 10 feet for a chance at three in a row to get back to even. YAHTZEE! Tiger makes it three straight birdies and he’s back to even. This is getting fun.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 7.

Hole 15 – Par 4

Tiger’s a man of the people today, as this 3-wood also finds the right rough and the gallery. The Japanese fans are getting their money’s worth today. Despite a less-than-stellar spot, TW went pin-seeking, sticking his approach six feet below the hole. Don’t look now but … that’s back-to-back birdies for Tiger! He’s feeling it now.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 6.

Hole 14 – Par 5

Japan’s very-own Hideki Matsuyama, playing with Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott, has a gallery the size of Tiger’s, which rarely happens at Tour events.

The first par-5 of the day is a burly one at 608 yards. His tee shot finds the gallery on the right, but his lie seems to be okay, sitting up in the rough. He lays up into the fairway from there and sticks his third inside 20 feet. TW finally gets a putt to drop, burying the birdie look. Let’s see if this jumpstarts some momentum.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 5.

Hole 13 – Par 3

Fun fact: The walk from 12 green to 13 tee is longer than the 13th hole! The walk is some 170 yards while the par-3 13th is playing 141 yards. Anyways, back to the action.

Tiger hits it tight on No. 13 but can’t get a shot back, missing his birdie putt on the right edge. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over thru 4.

Hole 12 – Par 4

After poor swings off the first two tees, Tiger paints the fairway here on No. 12. His approach wasn’t as solid off a downhill lie, comes up well short, some 50 feet from the pin. But hey, it’s a birdie putt. TW got a little aggressive, leaving a testy 4-6 footer for par. Another par putt misses, leaving a tap-in for bogey. Not good. Not good at all.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over thru 3.

Hole 11 – Par 4

No. 11 is an uphill beat at 486 yards, so Tiger pulls driver and misses left into a fairway bunker. He lays up from there, simply advancing his second out of the bunker about 150 yards. His third shot from 135 yards was another solid approach, this time to about 10-12 feet. He slides the par attempt three feet by, makes comebacker for a second consecutive bogey. He doesn’t look that bad, but 0-2 off the tee has him behind early.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2-over thru 2.

Hole 10 – Par 4

The Big Cat pulled 3-wood for his first hole of the new season and rinsed his ball in the water. Solid start. After his penalty he hit solid shot to eight feet but his par save was too weak. Opens with bogey, and we’re off.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-over thru 1.

Pre-round

Watch Tiger get warmed up on the range.

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